Abstractions: The Executive’s Guide to ROI in the Cloud

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Click to learn more about author Chris Lynch.

Industry icons VMware and MuleSoft changed the way organizations viewed infrastructure and application integration, respectively. Their value propositions cemented the necessity of an abstraction layer to maximize efficiency and flexibility, irrespective of a company’s size or market. Analogous to VMware and MuleSoft, today’s market opportunity awaits the company that provides an abstraction layer that enables enterprises to non-disruptively realize a hybrid cloud and multi-cloud architecture for their business intelligence (BI) and operational analytics workloads.

The entry point to any new technology offering is the migration — or the transition from the existing infrastructure or application to the new one — and in most cases, this is where the rubber meets the road (as opposed to the sales pitch where “the rubber meets the sky”). Many enterprises quickly determine that while the end state is incredibly desirable, the path to get there is far more costly and disruptive than originally anticipated. This is why the concept of an abstraction has been so powerful in the last two decades.

VMware arguably created the virtualization market and, ultimately, a company driving $9BN in revenue annually with a market cap topping $60BN. Their superpower was realized when organizations understood they could quickly transition compute workloads, followed by storage workloads and, ultimately, network workloads, seamlessly and transparently, once they had the abstraction layer in place to prevent disruption to the business.  

While compelling, it’s not the complete picture. MuleSoft demonstrated that fact when going public and subsequently being acquired by Salesforce for $6.5BN. Their ability to create abstractions between application endpoints enabled rapid development and iteration to accelerate time to market for new capabilities and platforms. This dramatically improved customer experience and sentiment, which is the real measure of value creation for everything IT departments do. To be clear, while MuleSoft created tremendous value in the application stack, it is not the complete picture either.

For enterprises to fully appreciate the value of the cloud and the emergence of new data platforms and analytical techniques, abstraction layers are the price of admission. Hence, just as Fortune 2000 companies embarked upon virtualization projects over the last two decades, they must continue to do so as a precursor to unlocking the potential of performance and value from the end state hybrid cloud architectures going forward.

Today’s cloud movement has unlocked the success of many companies. An intelligent data virtualization abstraction will provide the necessary capabilities for companies to non-disruptively migrate their on-premises workloads to multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures. Operational analytics and BI reporting are the benefactors of an intelligent data virtualization abstraction.

The only question that remains is, will you be one of those who are highlighted in Sir Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it,” or will you escape that reckoning and find your place amongst the giants like Home Depot, Tyson Foods, and Cardinal Health?

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